1st Trip as Mommy & Daddy! Celebrating DSs 1st Bday Nov 11-UPDATE 11/13 TR LINK!

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by khertz, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Hello :wave2: & welcome to my second ever Pre-Trip Report!

    If you are interested in any of my previous TRs from our December '09 trip or our July/August '10 weekend Babymoon trip, check out my signature! :thumbsup2

    The basics for this trip:
    WHO? Me (25, will be 26 on the trip), DH (26 will be 27 on the trip), and DS (2 months, will be 12.5 months on the trip)

    WHAT? A Disney vacation, of course! 9 days/8 nights with 5 day park hoppers. 2 travel days, 5 park days, and 2 rest/resort days.

    WHERE? Hmm...resort still undetermined.

    WHEN? November 4th-12th

    WHY? First of all, we are taking this trip to celebrate DS's first birthday in WDW! We originally planned to go right after his actual birthday, which is October 24th. But then we started researching, and realized if we waited a couple of weeks we could be in WDW for Festival of the Masters (heard about this on a podcast, and it sounds like something DH & I would really enjoy), and hopefully Osborne Lights if they start up around the same time this year that they did in 2010. Right now, he just absolutely loves staring at lights, so we are hoping he will love the O Lights too!

    So those are the basics, but I'll give a little more detail in the upcoming posts. I hope you'll join in as I plan our first trip as a family of 3!

    TABLE OF CONTENTS
    The Characters
    Where are we gonna sleep? + Tickets!
    AP Holders?!
    Trip Purchase!
    More Trip Purchases & Food Discussions
    Driving Options?
    Itinerary Draft #1
    ADR's & Final Itinerary
    Panama City Beach Mini-TR Day #1
    Dates Dilemma!
    Panama City Beach Mini-TR Day #1 Continued
    Panama City Beach Mini-TR Day #1 Complete
    1st Haircut, O Lights & Another Vacation?
    Panama City Beach Mini-TR Day #2
    Panama City Beach Mini-TR Day #2 Completed
    Via Napoli
    Travel Dilemma?
    Travel Day & Day 1 Plans
    A Few Random Things & Day 2 Plans
    Plane Tickets & More!
    Day 3 Plans
    Day 4 Plans
    A Day at the Aquarium
    Day 5 Plans
    Day 6 Plans
    Day 7 Plans
    Anniversary Weekend in NOLA
    Anniversary Weekend Continued
    Dun dun DUN!
    Happy Birthday, Paxton!
    Single Digit Dance!!
    Another Quickie Update
    Leaving Tomorrow!
    TR LINK!
     
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  3. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    So, who exactly are we?! Here is a little bit about our little family. :goodvibes

    KHERTZ: First of, there’s me, khertz! I’m 26 years old, a pediatric nurse, wife to dhertz, and mom to the most amazing and adorable little guy in the world, Paxton. This will be my 9th trip to WDW. I went for the first time in July 1994 when I was 9 years old with my aunt & uncle and a CYO group we were traveling with. My first trip with my parents & sister was Easter week in 1998, and after that, we went 3 more times in ’01, ’03, and ‘04 the week of Mardi Gras. On that last trip, my then boyfriend, now DH, joined us! DH & I went as newlyweds in 2007 for our honeymoon, and then took our parents on a 10 day December trip last year for everyone’s first time experiencing WDW at Christmastime. The last trip we took, that we call our babymoon trip because I was 6 months pregnant with DS, was in August this year, and was just a quick little weekend getaway. My favorite Disney movies are The Little Mermaid, Monsters Inc., and The Lion King, but I love pretty much all of them!

    DHERTZ: My DH can sometimes be found on the boards here as dhertz, but he mostly hangs out on the Vinylnation boards nowadays. Lol He is 26 years old, an electrical engineer, and an amazing husband and father! This will be his 8th trip to Disney World. He traveled there three times as a kid with his parents, mostly staying offsite and once at the Royal Plaza, then the three trips we have taken together. To say Donald Duck is his all time favorite character would be an understatement! We basically stalk that Duck all over the World every trip we take.

    Here are some pictures from our Disney trips together:

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    From our Disneymoon in October 2007

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    From our December 2009 Christmas trip

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    And one more from our Babymoon trip with DS tagging along in utero.

    PAXTON: Our amazing little DS who is just 2 months old and cute as a button. He has no idea what WDW is or who Mickey Mouse is (though he already has a LOT of MM apparel, toys, etc!), but we are still so very excited to be taking him on his first real trip (outside of the womb, that is lol). At the time of the trip, he will be just shy of 13 months old. At this point, of course, we have no idea what to expect, but we are hoping he will have a great time meeting characters and riding rides!


    More to come soon!
     
  4. leshunlenese

    leshunlenese DIS Veteran

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    First off congrats that is a beautiful boy and family you have. im so in!! I took my DS for his first birthday this past october and loved it. cant wait to go back!!!
     
  5. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    :welcome: Thanks for commenting! I just went and read your TR...Devyn is too cute for words! I'm glad y'all had a good time taking him for his birthday, I can't wait to take my little man for his! :cake:
     
  6. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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    I'm here! love the PTR! and first pics i have seen of Paxton- oh my gosh, he is so darn adorable- are you not just in total love already? :lovestruc What a cutie.

    He is going to have a blast! I can't wait to read what all you guys have planned. You are going to just love, love, love taking him to WDW as he grows. On our trip last year, Will was 2 and had a ball. This year at 3, it was even more fun. Next October, at 4, I can only imagine the fun we will have. You have so many years of making wonderful memories. :wizard::love:

    love your baby bump pic too- you were adorable pregnant! :goodvibes
     
  7. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Happy to see you over here, Michelle!

    DH & I are both SO in love with Paxton it's ridiculous! :lovestruc He is such a good baby, and finally getting to the stage of being a little more interactive with us. Even though I'm not at all ready for him to start growing up, it is so fun wondering if he is going to do anything new every day! I have been home with him now for 11 weeks...only one more to go before I head back to work and I'm absolutely dreading it! :sad2:

    I'm so excited about taking him to Disney over the next few years. I'm sure while he is so little, every trip with him will be completely different because he will be changing so much. I can't wait! And every time I read your TRs with Will it makes me even more anxious to get there with him! :goodvibes
     
  8. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    First of all, we have TICKETS!

    We actually ordered and received them a couple of weeks ago as soon as we decided we were taking Paxton to Disney World. My company participates in a website that offers all kinds of discounts for different vendors, and one of those is Disney & Universal tickets! You get more of a discount when you buy the 7-day passes, but we went for the 5-day passes since we knew 7 days in the parks would be too much with a 1 year old.

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    I think I mentioned DH is a huge Donald fan, so I'm sure you can guess which one of us will be using each ticket. ;)

    A 5-day park hopper directly from Disney would cost $291+tax/person. We got these tickets for $278+tax/person. Not too bad. Plus Paxton is of course free! But the website does also offer discounts on child's 5 or 7 day park hoppers.

    The planned schedule for the trip is:
    Friday - arrival day
    Saturday - parks
    Sunday - parks
    Monday - parks
    Tuesday - resort day, character breakfast at a resort
    Wednesday - parks
    Thursday - parks
    Friday - rest day/DTD for Festival of the Masters
    Saturday - drive home

    I figured that was a good way to split it up so that DS doesn't wear out too quickly. :thumbsup2

    Now for the resort mumbo jumbo...

    DH & I are owners of a Wyndham timeshare, which works off of a points system. In 2010, we had some leftover points, so we "banked" them with the sister company, RCI. RCI happens to have access to the DVC resorts! So of course, my all time hope for this trip is that we are able to stay a week at a DVC resort!

    Basically, the process is that if we book with an RCI/DVC resort this trip, we could only book a max of 7 nights, and there is a fee of about $200 for the week. Of course, right now there is nothing available. We called RCI and they said our chances of getting into a DVC resort were pretty slim, which wasn't a surprise to me at all. But we were able to go ahead and pay the fee now, and they will continue searching all of the DVC resorts for us and will contact us if anything comes available during our dates. If nothing comes up and we don't make a reservation with them, we are refunded the fee. Easy enough! So I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but not keeping my hopes up. The ideal would be if we could stay at VWL because of the easy access to the MK, where I know we'll be spending most of our park time, but I'd be happy with any of them!

    So in the meantime, we went ahead today and made our reservations at Wyndham Bonnet Creek, which is where we stayed last year.

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    We can only book up to 7 nights here also, so since we need 8 nights, we had to make a split reservation. We split it into 4 & 4 so that if we did have to physically move rooms, we would be doing so on our resort day anyway. We can call the resort a week before check-in and request that we not have to move rooms, which we have been able to do before. I'm hoping it will work this time. But their process for moving is pretty easy, since we had to do it in '09 when we moved from our 3-bedroom to a 1-bedroom after our parents left. We packed up our stuff onto luggage carts and left it inside the 3-bedroom, and when the 1-bedroom was ready, the staff moved the racks there for us. So even if we have to move, the most annoying thing will be packing & unpacking again.

    We can also request a Fireworks view room, which we plan on doing again this trip. In December, our view was amazing, and we saw fireworks almost every single night from our balcony, plus we could see the Osborne Lights dancing! :wizard: The resort also has Pack'n'Plays and highchairs available, which we can get upon check-in. So that will be great that we won't have to worry about packing those things up for Paxton. I actually hadn't even considered the highchair, I called just to find out about the Pack'n'Play!

    Here's a few pictures of the 3-bedroom we stayed in on our December trip, and some pictures of the view we had.

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    The Osborne Lights

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    IllumiNations

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    All in all, we really loved Bonnet Creek in '09 and I will in no way be disappointed if we don't get to stay at DVC and end up staying here again! We had no time to explore the resort last time, but with 2 rest days planned for this trip, we are going to do just that. They seem to have a great activities center, nice pools, and a lazy river that I would definitely be interested in checking out. :thumbsup2 We plan to drive our car to all of the parks anyway, even if we stay DVC (except for when we go to MK of course though, since it is much easier to take Disney transportation there from a Disney resort), so not having access to the Disney buses for park transportation won't be an issue.

    Looks like we will just have to wait and see.

    Okay, well now I'm off to watch my boys the Saints in the playoffs...WHO DAT!!!

    Hope everyone has a great weekend & gets some good Disney planning done. :goodvibes
     
  9. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    DS is napping away so I thought I'd sneak in a quick post about our latest developments!

    Suddenly in the past few days, I may have gone from planning ONE Disney trip to now planning THREE! :lmao: How in the world does this happen?

    Basically, DH and I were talking about our tickets, and we figured out that if we planned our next trip with DS in 2012 anytime before November, it would make more sense for us to upgrade our current tickets to APs. We included the cost of daily parking fees since we will in all likelihood be staying offsite, so that plus the cost of another set of 5-day park hoppers from my work website, an AP would save us a total of about $300. Not a huge savings, but it's $300 we can spend elsewhere instead of on tickets and parking fees.

    But that's only 2 trips. The third one would come in simply because we would have APs in our possession. So we are thinking of maybe another quick 4-day weekend trip like we did this past year in August. That one would be just me & DH while DS stayed a few days with my parents. Between the APs being paid for, and using our points to stay at a Wyndham resort, we would only have to spend money on food, souvenirs (which I doubt we would buy too much anyway just the two of us), and travel expenses. Hopefully we could find some cheap airfare out of New Orleans so that we don't have to drive again. :scared1:

    Also, with the APs, we could have a lot more flexibility on this upcoming November trip. We had planned 5 park days and 2 rest days, but what if DS is absolutely miserable and intolerable on one of our park days and we have already used admission but end up spending half the day in our resort, and then our rest day he is raring to go? Or if we just want to pop into a park for dinner one night but want to spend the rest of the day at the resort?

    We are also looking in to the TIW card, but we want to make sure that would actually be worth the money for us. We figured we'd have to spend about $400 on food to make the card worth it, and we might not be able to do that just me & DH since DS will still be eating for free on both trips.

    Not that being an AP holder is all that exciting, but I never thought we'd ever need them! And now that we are thinking about it, it means I might get to go to Disney more often over the next 2 years that I had thought!

    I hope everyone has had a great weekend. :) Today is the last day of my maternity leave. :( Not looking forward to heading back to the hospital tomorrow & leaving Paxton, but he will be in good hands (his daddy's!).
     
  10. bam1004

    bam1004 Mouseketeer

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    Hello fellow Who Dat Nation citizen!!! Too bad we aren't playing this weekend. That's okay, there is always next year!
    We are also thinking of getting AP since we are currently planning on going in June and now we are considering a quick trip in Dec. We are on the fence. One way it would be nice since we weren't planning on getting park hoppers to save money on our upcoming trip and with the AP you can hop and then when we go back in Dec, we would just have to worry about our hotel costs.
    Good luck on going back to work tomorrow. I am a mother of 2 and that first day back is hard, but seeing them at home after work makes it worth it!!!
     
  11. leshunlenese

    leshunlenese DIS Veteran

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    yah for AP's. and i totally agree, when i went back to work and school i so hated leaving my baby and i still do :sad1: but it gets easier.
     
  12. exwdwcm

    exwdwcm wishes she was Wendy Moira Angela Darling

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    So are you back at work now? How is it going? it is so hard going back.

    It is a ball taking them and i know each year is going to be more fun. Last year, he had just turned 2, but he loved the lights and snow most of all. This year, he loved the characters (he's never been afraid, but just really showed an interest at 3). He was 40" and able to ride splash, TT, BTMRR, Soarin etc. He loved it, but i know next year, he will really 'get it' even more. Each year will be more fun! :thumbsup2 You have so much fun to experience ahead of you.

    I love your resort- i remember your fireworks views from your last trip- they are amazing! so i wouldn't be too bummed if you can't get moved to DVC. To be honest, your resort looks nicer than many of the DVC ones! lol

    Yeah for APs!!! We just got our first APs this last trip. I didn't even know about the whole buy a discounted ticket (like from undercover tourist) and then upgrade it to save a few bucks. guess i know now. We just paid outright for the DVC discounted APs. We will use them again in October of course! I love having an AP. everywhere we ate or shopped, i always asked, AP or DVC discount? :rotfl: are you guys considering the TIW card? we got it and loved it. we will definitely get our money out of that.
     
  13. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Hopefully the Saints can get it together next year and take it all the way again. :thumbsup2 Still can't believe we lost to the Seahawks, but oh well! We tried to bring them good luck, even had Paxton in his Saints onesie:

    [​IMG]

    I finished up my first week at work, and it got a little better every day. :goodvibes The first morning was ROUGH, but he was home with his daddy who was awesome about texting me pictures all day to keep me going. The hardest part is being away for 12 hours. I get to nurse him in the morning before I leave and again when I get home, and then he is going down for the night so I feel like I hardly see him. But it hasn't been as horrible as I thought.

    APs really seem like the way to go for us, especially considering that we'd otherwise have to pay for parking each day if we stay at Bonnet Creek again. Plus, that means we will probably sneak in a little "lagniappe" trip in the spring just me & DH! :lovestruc

    Thanks for commenting!

    This week was tough, but it could have been so much worse. Luckily I am leaving him with either his dad, my sister, or my mom in his own house, so it is not so much that I am worrying about him like I would be with daycare or a nanny, just missing him like crazy!

    Just finished up week number 1, and it wasn't too bad. DH kept me smiling by texting me ridiculously cute pictures all day, like this one!

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    I am SO excited to take him! We specifically pushed back our dates to hopefully coincide with the Osbourne Lights, not just because we loved them so much, but because I think DS will really enjoy them as well. I am so excited to take him as he grows because I know every trip will be different as he starts to "get it" more each time.

    We are still thinking about the TIW card. We figure we'd need to spend about $400 on food to make it worth it, and we just aren't sure that we will. It would be cutting it pretty close. But we are still considering it.

    As for the AP discount, did you find they took it at a lot of stores? DH was disappointed when he saw the short list of places they say take the AP discount, but then he read the same advice, just ask everywhere you go. What was your experience with it? If not, though, we always have the Disney Visa. I think you can use the AP discount at some of the TS restaurants though too? We're still doing our research on it since we won't be buying the APs, we'd be upgrading once we get there. :thumbsup2
     
  14. oOJulieOo

    oOJulieOo Mouseketeer

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    Joining in!

    What a beautiful baby boy! I enjoyed seeing all your pictures!
     
  15. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    :welcome: Thanks for commenting!

    Thanks so much. We are really enjoying our little man! :love:

    I'm heading over to check out your PTR. :thumbsup2
     
  16. hollisterluva92

    hollisterluva92 DIS Veteran

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    I'm in!!! Your son is adorable and I love all of your plans so far! Can't wait for more updates!
     
  17. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    :welcome: Thanks so much! :goodvibes
     
  18. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Not too much progress on the trip planning has been made recently. I'm so anxious for the park hours to be released so I can get to work on the planning!

    In the meantime, I have been hunting around for things to buy for the trip, mostly things for DS. We found some super cute Mickey t-shirts at Target a few weeks ago, but they only had them in 2T or 3T, none in 12 months. So I started snooping around online looking for Mickey t-shirts, and came across this:

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    I had to have it! I'm just hoping DS still fits in it by the time the trip rolls around. ;) He is already so chunky, but he seems to follow the sizes well as he ages, so hopefully he will actually still fit in the 12 month tee when he is actually 12 months. :laughing:
     
  19. oOJulieOo

    oOJulieOo Mouseketeer

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    I love that shirt!

    My DD seems to be a bit chunky too, but she still fits into all of her 9 month stuff and she'll be 10 months next week. So I think the t-shirt will work, especially if it's not a onesie where it has to snap at the bottom.
     
  20. khertz

    khertz Proud member of the WHO DAT NATION!!

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    Thanks! I saw it and just had to have it. :goodvibes So far, he has always been right on track with clothing sizes, if anything a little small. He wore newborn size for almost 2 months! So I'm thinking the shirt will be fine, especially since like you said, it's not a onesie. :thumbsup2 I'm keeping my eyes out everywhere we got for more trip t-shirts for him. :)
     
  21. Trinity524

    Trinity524 DIS Veteran

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    I read your last trip report and then messaged you before reading this one. I can't wait to see if you are going to get a week in DVC!!
     

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